U.S. Senate races to attract 1 million TV ads

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Super PACs, nonprofits help fuel relentlessly negative messaging in U.S. Senate races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Scott Brown":

"… emocratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is locked in a close race against Republican Scott Brown, didn’t air the most U.S. Senate-related TV ads during a one-week period …"

Power shifts to outsiders in U.S. Senate fight

By Michael Beckel

Battle for control determined in large part by big-spending super PACs and nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… Democratic super PACs reigned supreme through mid-October, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission Thursday. …"

"… , Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire and South Dakota, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG, an advertising tracking serv …"

"… o-called outside groups have aired more than 51,000 TV ads, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG. That’s nearly three of eve …"

North Carolina's state of political hate

By Dave Levinthal

North Carolina's U.S. Senate race is the nation's nastiest — and few are particularly friendly affairs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… is calling the shots and where the money is being spent. Congratulations, North Carolina: You’ve become the year’s great state of political hate. Tar Heels la …"

"… mittees, super PACs and politically active nonprofit groups contributed to North Carolina’s hostility parade, which Hagan and Tillis themselves helped marshal in …"

"… n of the more than 10,800 Senate race-focused TV ads that ran last week in North Carolina had a positive tone. Since last year, North Carolina voters have been pre …"

"… hat ran last week in North Carolina had a positive tone. Since last year, North Carolina voters have been presented with more than 90,000 ads trying to influence t …"

Secretive groups spend millions to influence state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits hit TV airwaves with attacks on state-level candidates, gaining traction since the U.S. Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Law Enforcement Alliance of America":

"… gubernatorial and Arkansas attorney general contests this cycle. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America, another Virginia-based nonprofit was active in Michigan’s state supreme …"

Democrats seize air supremacy in Senate battlegrounds

By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

Liberals aired more TV ads last week than their conservative foils in seven of the nine top Senate battlegrounds races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… Pryor’s campaign aired. Meanwhile, in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell battled Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. The state ranked No …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George H. W. Bush":

"… at purpose. In Ohio, it tapped Thomas Needles, a former aide to President George H. W. Bush. Needles gives generously to Republican candidates and also lobbies for fo …"

Senate Democrats lead TV ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired more TV ads in key Senate races last week than any other group.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arkansas":

"… re TV ads than any other spender last week in the Senate races underway in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to Kantar Media/CMAG. …"

"… ut 1,300 TV ads last week — or about one ad every eight minutes. And in Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor’s campaign aired about 600 TV ads — or abo …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Los Angeles":

"… re rubber bullets. …"

"… ram to transfer surplus supplies to civilian law enforcement. In June, the Los Angeles Unified School District also received a MRAP, which was designed to protec …"

"… ps Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and Public Counsel, which is based in Los Angeles. Controversy over so-called militarization of school police comes just as …"

"… p;The department has seven full-time officers and 11 reserve officers. In Los Angeles, Manuel Criollo, an organizer with the Labor-Community Strategy Center, ca …"

Mitch McConnell revs ad machine

By Michael Beckel

Kentucky’s embattled senior senator has aired roughly one campaign ad every five minutes since Labor Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… report. …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… ue. …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kansas":

"… , the tide in states may be turning against the telecommunications giants. Kansas and Utah, where Republicans control the legislatures, defeated bills this …"

Democrats embrace 'McCutcheon' decision

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Ahead of high-stakes battle for the Senate, Democrats create massive fundraising group blessed by contentious 'McCutcheon' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Supreme Court":

"… aced a new big-money fundraising vehicle — after repeatedly blasting the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made it possible — that could help candidates, state parti …"

Gun rights debate enters a new arena: the campus

By Wade Millward and Carmen Forman

The right to carry a firearm onto college campuses has become another issue in the gun control debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kansas":

"… me public buildings from concealed carry of guns. Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi and Wisconsin — and now Idaho — have laws on the books th …"

"… wners in dorms, and universities can ban guns from certain meeting rooms. Kansas' 2013 campus carry law included an optional four-year delay before license …"

Evolution of public-carry laws expands gun rights

By Kristen Hwang and Kate Murphy

Public-carry has moved from rare to widespread in the wake of recent shooting incidents

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… ars: 16 In restaurants: 0 Guns are increasingly common in public spaces. Georgia’s Legislature recently passed the Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, whi …"

"… ngly common in public spaces. Georgia’s Legislature recently passed the Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, which significantly expanded where gun owners c …"

"… Everywhere Bill.” “I open my front door and walk in public spaces in Georgia,” said Kathryn Grant, co-founder of the Georgia Gun Sense Coalition. “ …"

"… walk in public spaces in Georgia,” said Kathryn Grant, co-founder of the Georgia Gun Sense Coalition. “Most people don’t think about the potential of v …"

Pat Roberts' merry band of boosters

By Dave Levinthal

Outside groups are using the power of positivity to help save career of Kansas' longtime U.S. senator.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kansas":

"… ate's own campaign, in turn, stays positive. But the script is flipped in Kansas, where groups attempting to save the political career of Republican Sen. P …"

"… posting X-rays of his patients on Facebook and facing an investigation by Kansas' medical board. (The American College of Radiology has shunned Wolf in fav …"

"… ation, Labor, and Pensions Committee.) "Unfit. Not trusted. Not right for Kansas," the ad's narrator declares. Another ad chides Wolf for missing votes. …"

Obamacare-driven competition lowering rates in some states

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: much-maligned Affordable Care Act attracting for-profit insurers, driving prices down in some states.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iowa":

"… ers to remain in their non-ACA-compliant plans for an additional year. In Iowa, for example, CoOpportunity Health notified customers that it would seek a …"

"… 2015. Coventry Health Care said it would also seek a rate increase for its Iowa customers. CoOpportunity blamed its proposed increase on a marketplace dis …"

Is this super PAC subverting disclosure rules?

By Michael Beckel

Georgia's GOP Senate primary has attracted big money from a super PAC funded by two nonprofit groups tied to an Ohio lobbyist.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal law":

"… ause they were aired more than 30 days before the July 22 runoff election, federal law does not require Jobs and Progress Fund to report its ads to the FEC. A s …"

Bush bundlers boost pro-Gillespie super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Co-chairman of U.S. Senate candidate's finance committee also helps bankroll supportive super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Karl Rove":

"… in the White House to President George W. Bush. Along with GOP strategist Karl Rove, Gillespie also helped found the super PAC behemoth American Crossroads, w …"

Outside money pouring into governors races

By Ben Wieder

Dem, GOP associations are spending more than double as much on governors' races in the 2014 cycle than at the same period in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Illinois":

"… d $1.5 million to a committee supporting the Republican challenger in Illinois, Bruce Rauner, along with contributions to Republican groups in Texas …"

Case reopened after Center reveals judge's conflict of interest

By Kytja Weir

Center investigation identifies conflicted judge leading to new hearing for discrimination case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Supreme Court":

"… Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The appellate courts are second only to the U.S. Supreme Court in terms of seniority. Marion F. Walker, the attorney representing Jacobs …"

Limited liability companies power West Virginia super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Group funded by limited liability companies boosts West Virginia Republican Alex Mooney.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ril. Since super PACs sprang to life following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, corporate super PAC contributions have been relatively rare, with …"

Toomey discloses trip after inquiry

By Michael Beckel

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey failed to disclose a March trip to an exclusive, 'off-the-record' conference.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… setting.  Republican politicians such as former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Go …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… rs served to amplify the messages regulators were receiving from JPMorgan, Bank of America,  the American Bankers Association and dozens of others asking them t …"

"… rett wrote another letter, reiterating their demands and citing reports by Bank of America and Moody’s Analytics that were also cited in at least three bank and tr …"

FEC sends senators erroneous warnings

By Dave Levinthal

Politicians received notices they violated election laws due to a communications mix-up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… copies to be considered in compliance with federal law.     …"

GAO report again finds black lung proposal supported by science

By Chris Hamby

A new government study supports reducing the dust limit workers encounter in mines; the industry is pushing back against stronger rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… Nine months later, U.S. Reps. Hal Rogers of Kentucky and Jack Kingston of Georgia, both Republicans, asked the GAO to conduct the study that led to this wee …"

Residents of polluted U.S. communities fear planned cuts in EPA enforcement

By Ronnie Greene and Chris Hamby

The EPA's "Next Generation Compliance" plan would lead to fewer inspections of, and enforcement actions against, polluters.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New Mexico":

"… forcement. And what is the message you are sending to the communities?" …"

"… increase compliance with environmental laws.” Environmental worries in New Mexico, New York The EPA’s Giles, in her write-up in the environmental publica …"

"… es say some of the neediest communities could be left out. One example: In New Mexico, where Native-American communities confront pollution concerns. “Electr …"

"… o the Internet,” said Douglas Meiklejohn, executive director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. “There are large areas of Native American rese …"

GOP opposition to Obamacare baffles Dr. Sullivan

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former HHS Secretary Sullivan says Obamacare resembles plan crafted by Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… dismayed that so many Republican governors, including Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia, where Sullivan was born and still lives, have refused to expand the Medic …"

"… Tampa in 2012. Sullivan told the journalists Thursday that, in his view, Georgia can’t afford not to expand Medicaid. Not only would the expansion bring …"

"… pand Medicaid. Not only would the expansion bring hundreds of thousands of Georgians into coverage, the millions of dollars the federal government would send …"

Japan confirms it will return some nuclear explosive materials to U.S.

By Douglas Birch

The amount of plutonium is a small fraction of what the country could soon begin making annually.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Russia":

"… nbsp;limits on plutonium stockpiles, due to opposition from countries like Russia and India that are seeking to develop commercial plutonium nuclear program …"

"… us by their absence from the list are the nuclear powers France, China and Russia. The signers of the deal also pledged to follow the International Atomic …"

FEC to Claire McCaskill: Show us your money

By Dave Levinthal

Missouri Democrat says missing campaign finance report was lost in the mail

Excerpts from this story referencing "Thad Cochran":

"… e Democrats or independents, although several Republicans, including Sens. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Lindsey Graham of South Carolin …"

Defense Department poorly managed design, construction of F-35 fighter, auditor says

By Douglas Birch

A detailed new report offers some insight into why the most costly weapon system in U.S. history has so many problems and defects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… on how not to run a major acquisition effort.” That was the same month a Government Accountability Office auditor warned that paying the F-35 program’s bills could break the Pent …"

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